“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” ~ American Indian proverb.
"With all things and in all things, we are relatives." ~ Lakota (Sioux) saying.
“If you know that things are bound to happen whatever you do, then you may feel free to give up the fight against them.” ~ Karl Popper
10 September 2014
Scotland is a great nation. It already is and always will be, within the union or out of it.
But the United Kingdom is a great entity of its own: an accident of history that gives space for different nations and different peoples to express themselves within a bigger whole: a union of nations and peoples. That is something special and almost unique within the world.
But it will be damaged, perhaps irrevocably, if Scotland departs.
To me, the Scots Independence debate seems to have shown a yearning not so much for separation, but rather for a state and a country that means something - for a better democracy.
I think we can (and definitely should) all share that aspiration, but the idea that Scotland by cutting loose will be free from the denationalising forces of global wealth and power that bear down on us and our governments is fanciful – if anything it will be more vulnerable to them, as will the rest of us. There will be positive aspects in coming to terms with the reduced status that separation will bring, but they are nothing that could not be achieved within the union.
I think the rest of us in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should wish the Scots well though, whatever their choice.
5 September 2014
The left’s rationalism
A simple ethic, with consequences
‘We’ and ‘Us’
Three stages of values in politics
3 September 2014
The environment: an afterthought to politics
The Greens – seeking sanctuary in narrow activism
Faith in God, or climate change
Globalisation and respecting our elders
The American Indians and us
Labour Party culture
29 August 2014
In The Open Society and Its Enemies, Karl Popper quotes a passage from Hegel that shows how social ideologies can end up giving free rein to all sorts of bad behaviour.
“By far the majority of perpetrators were described as 'Asian' by victims, yet throughout the entire period, councillors did not engage directly with the Pakistani-heritage community to discuss how best they could jointly address the issue. Some councillors seemed to think it was a one-off problem, which they hoped would go away. Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.”
Rotherham social services’ culture actually seems to have been stuck in a sort of an extreme ideological hole, as can be seen from it banning a couple of UKIP members from fostering for apparently belonging to a "racist party".
“Both the media and public perception has been that Rotherham has failed to protect children involved in CSE or identified offenders and brought them to justice. Perception however is not always reality. It is now clear that CSE...is pervasive across the length and breadth of the country."
For more on similar themes, see Identity politics and the left page.
26 August 2014
For more on similar themes, see Philosophy, thought and literature page.